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June 16, 2024 12:20 PM

Upper Hunter Stars Wow At Tamworth’s Toyota Star Maker

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Jimbo Stokes and Jemma Beech gave amazing performances throughout the Tamworth Country Music Festival. (Photo courtesy of Jemma Beech.)

BY MEREDITH BLAIR

Although they weren’t the winners of the Toyota Star Maker competition, Scone and Singleton locals Jimbo Stokes and Jemma Beech were winners in our hearts.

The pair performed at the Tamworth Country Music Festival for the Toyota Star Maker Top 10 Grand Final on January 21, Jimbo performing his songs ‘Headed Country’ and ‘All For You’, while Jemma covered Lainey Wilson’s ‘Heart Like A Truck’ and performed her song ‘Four Leaf Clover’.

Both Jimbo and Jemma felt more than ready to take on the Toyota Park stage, feeling right at home once up on the stage.

“When it came to the Grand Final, I was feeling so ready; that was the key word,” Jemma told The Hunter River Times.

“I was thinking, I’ve been working so hard, there can be some really tough times but I’ve quit my job in the mines and I’m not driving dump trucks in Muswellbrook anymore; I’m on the road, touring and collaborating with artists; that’s my world, that’s what I’ve always wanted to do and now that I’ve decided to bite the bullet, this is my chance.

“So, coming into the Grand Final, being backstage, getting ready, getting fitted out by the local Ranch House Australia store because I built that friendship up when she had a shop in Singleton, just being supported by my local community and taking it all the way to Tamworth as a Top 10 finalist has just been amazing.

Jimbo was equally excited about the experience.

“As big as the stage is and the amount of people in the audience, the fact that you’ve got a high-quality band behind you makes you feel well supported.

So, what’s next for Jemma Beech and Jimbo Stokes?

Jemma is planning a trip to Nashville and will continue writing music.

Jimbo plans to continue performing and releasing music.

“The last 15 months since I released my first song have been good, we’ve progressed nicely and to have this at the start of the year is quite nice timing, so I’ll try to take from it and build from it,” Jimbo shared. “This year will be a lot bigger though, I’ve got plenty of performances in the pipeline, but I’m also wanting to release four or five songs this year and I’ve done a lot of writing so I’ve put myself in the position where I can do that.”

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